First and foremost, I’d like to welcome readers of V&TFM to my inaugural column on what’s happening in the estuarine and saltwater scene in the great southwest. Hopefully I can keep you up to date with the fishing scene down my way and put you onto a few.
This year winter arrived a month early and so did the rains. All waterways that empty into the Southern Ocean did so with great gusto. This event saw most anglers locked away indoors, watching television but hey, fish eventually have to eat!
Local estuaries like the Curdies River and lake were still in flood but a few anglers including myself ventured out into the lake and bait fished for bream.
One morning recently I pulled in seven black bream to 37cm in one quick session in the lake using nothing else but packet prawns.
The Hopkins River is still receiving floodwater thanks partially to the Mount Emu Creek, which is its major tributary. Bank anglers are still catching bream and estuary perch to 33cm on frozen bait opposite Lyndoch, the road bridge and the danger board near the mouth.
The Gellibrand River at Princetown has bream and estuary perch to 32cm available to anglers fishing below the road bridge to the campground. Again this river is very turbid and is flowing high like all of our estuaries but this situation simply congregates the fish right down into the lower reaches making it somewhat easier for anglers to find a fish or two.
Pungent baits such as frozen prawn or whitebait are doing the damage at present.
Local live bait is extremely hard to source due to current conditions and lure casting is largely a waste of time as the water is so muddy and dirty.
Hopefully by October the rains may have diminished allowing our estuaries to run true again. Black bream and other spawning species will push upstream in search of the right salinity to spawn. When the water clears and the fish begin to spawn, artificials will be truly effective again.
Surf fishing for Australian salmon has been above average this year. Although many fish average around 600g, some lucky fishers have landed some thumpers to 3kg mixed in amongst the schools.
Areas to target have been the Gellibrand River mouth, Clifton Beach, Home Bay at Peterborough, Worm Bay and the Bay of Martyrs. Many of our surf beaches are enclosed by rocky reefs that hold sweep, rock cod and silver trevally, all of which can easily top 1kg.
Best baits have been pilchard, squid strips and bluebait. If you can get hold of some cray tails for bait, sweep and silvers will almost certainly come knocking at your door!Reads: 1402